23 Ingenious Uses For White Vinegar.


About 10,000 years ago, ancient people discovered a product that would change lives forever. Wine had been around for a while, but after some was allowed to oxidize, vinegar was born. It became an immediate hit. The Babylonians used vinegar as a preservative, as did Ancient Greeks and Romans. Some peoples, including the Chinese, believed that vinegar was a tonic that would give them strength and vitality, as well as bestow healing properties. Legend has it that Hannibal only succeeded in crossing the Alps because his armies heated mountain boulders and doused them with vinegar, causing the rocks to crumble and clear the path.

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Vinegar’s magic ingredient is acetic acid, which comprises about 5 percent of the finished product. Vinegar has been produced commercially for about 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest products in use by humans. There are many different types of vinegar out there, all produced by the oxidization of alcohol into acetic acid, but white vinegar is the most useful and the most versatile by far.

White vinegar has dozens of household applications, and the best part is that it’s green. It’s enjoying a newfound popularity as many people try to avoid toxic or harsh cleaning chemicals around their pets and children, as well as save money by making their own cleansers. Not to mention that vinegar is cheap, it’s versatile, and it doesn’t irritate allergies like some fragranced cleansers. Chances are, whenever you run into a household funk, vinegar is your answer.

Kitchen Remedies

Besides adding zest to salad dressings, white vinegar is handy for many cooking tasks.

1. Adding a few tablespoons of white vinegar to the water when poaching eggs helps the whites stay formed. Add a few tablespoons to the water when boiling eggs, and if any shells crack, the whites won’t leak out.

2. If your leafy veggies are wilted, soaking them in cold water with a little vinegar can perk them right up.

3. After chopping an onion, you can eliminate the odor from your hands by rubbing them with a bit of white vinegar.

4. When cooking any vegetables from the cabbage family (like broccoli or cauliflower), adding a little vinegar to the water will perk up the taste and reduce the gassiness they can induce. This also works when cooking beans, making Mexican food a far more attractive option.

Cleaning House

Vinegar can help with a variety of cleaning tasks, since the acid acts as a disinfectant and an odor neutralizer.

5. Clean and deodorize the garbage disposal by mixing equal parts vinegar and baking soda and putting it down the drain. After letting this fizzing mixture sit for a few minutes, flush out the drain with warm water for a clean and stink-free sink.

6. The steam from a boiling a bowl of vinegar and water can loosen caked-on food.

7. One of my favorite vinegar remedies and my personal weapon against fruit flies is to set out a small dish of white vinegar and some smashed fruit, covered with plastic wrap with some holes in it–the flies crawl into the trap, but can’t get out.

8. If your stemware is cloudy from the dishwasher, wrap the glasses in paper towels soaked in vinegar, let them sit, and the cloudy deposits will rinse right off.

9. There’s no need to use bleach on tile grouting when you can let vinegar soak on it and then scrub with a toothbrush.

10. Bring lightly scuffed or dirty DVDs back to life by wiping them down with some vinegar on a soft cloth.

11. If you have water condensation marks on your wood, just rub the piece of furniture with equal parts vinegar and vegetable oil to remove them. Make sure to rub with the grain, and then invest in a set of coasters.

Cleaning Clothes

Vinegar works magic on upholstery and fabric, too.

12. If a child has an “accident” on a mattress, clean it with a solution of vinegar and water. Afterwards, pour some baking soda onto the mattress, and brush or vacuum the residue once it’s dry.

13. Spraying vinegar onto deodorant-stained shirts before the wash can remove the discoloration. It’s also great for fighting mustard, tomato sauce, or ketchup stains.

14. Adding a cupful of vinegar to the rinse cycle of your washing machine can freshen up bright colors and give you cleaner laundry. Acetic acid won’t harm fabrics, but it dissolves the soap residue that can dull dark clothing. It also acts as a fabric softener, a static reducer, and a mildew-inhibitor.

15. Vinegar will also loosen chewing gum stuck to car upholstery, rugs, and carpeting.

Outdoor Solutions

Tough enough even for the outdoors, vinegar can function as a car cleaner and an organic pest remover.

16. If your car still sports a bumper sticker from two elections ago, remove it by spraying the decal with white vinegar to saturate the area, and the sticker will peel off in a few hours. (You might need to spray it a few times.)

17. Wiping down your car windows and windshield with a three-to-one vinegar-water mixture can keep them frost-free in the wintertime.

18. Kill weeds and crabgrass growing in sidewalks and driveways by pouring vinegar onto them. A half-and-half solution of vinegar and water can even kill garden slugs if it’s sprayed directly onto them.

19. To extend the life of cut flowers, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the water in their vase, along with a teaspoon of sugar.

Pet Protection

There’s no need to use chemicals near pets when vinegar can handle most cleaning and bathing tasks.

20. Wipe out itchy ears with undiluted vinegar to keep dogs and cats from scratching at them.

21. Cats avoid vinegar, so to keep them from scratching furniture or sitting on certain areas, spray a vinegar solution onto the spot.

22. For outdoor areas, soak a sponge in vinegar and place it in the forbidden area to keep cats away. If kitty likes to mark his territory, spraying the area with vinegar can help eliminate the smell and deter recurrences.

23. Vinegar also gets rid of skunk odor. Soak the animal with a half-and-half vinegar and water solution, and then rinse with fresh water.

Vinegar can disinfect, deodorize, and de-gunkify just about everything. From shower curtains to sofa cushions, there’s not much that it can’t do. As an alternative to expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals, vinegar is something you can feel good about keeping in your cupboards. White vinegar and baking soda can even remove product buildup from hair and leave it soft and manageable. A product that can clean you, the dog, your car, and your house is what I’d call a good, green buy.

 

Spiders’ Electrostatic Charge Helps Them Trap Prey In Their Webs, New Study Shows.


Spiders may trap unsuspecting prey by sucking them in using electrostatic attraction, new research suggests.

The new study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that the spiderweb of the common cross spider (or garden spider) is attracted to electrically charged objects, with the sticky threads of spider silk arcing toward each other in response to a charged object.

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Stroke of inspiration

Some flying insects, as they flap their wings, for instance, generate an electric charge. As such the new results suggest that charged bugs such as honeybees could be sucked into, and then trapped by, a spider’s sticky web as they fly by. [Ewww! Photos of Bat-Eating Spiders]

“Charged insects can produce a deformation of a spiderweb,” said study co-author Victor Ortega-Jimenez, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. “Any insect that is flying very close to the spiderweb can be trapped by the electrostatic effect.”

Ortega-Jimenez noticed this phenomenon while playing with a simple toy with his daughter: an electrostatically charged “magic wand” that can cause objects such as paper to levitate. While doing so, they decided to charge up a few insects and even brought it near a spiderweb that was nearby, which deformed in response to the magic wand

He also knew that honeybees generate an electric charge of up to 200 volts as they flap their wings, which may help them pick up pollen from negatively charged flowers. Several studies have revealed that spiderwebs can dramatically deform in response to prey. So he wondered whether spiderwebs could use electrostatic attraction to lure prey.

Charging webs

To find out, Ortega-Jimenez and his colleague Robert Dudley gathered spiderwebs of the cross spider (Araneus diadematus) from around the UC Berkeley campus. Back at the lab, they studied how the spiderwebs responded to electrically charged objects.

They found that the web and positively charged objects were attracted to one another. What’s more, the silk threads of the spiderweb curved toward each other underneath a charged honeybee that was falling toward it, making it likelier that the hapless insect would get entangled in the deadly web. The deformation was nearly half the length of the insects, a fairly big change.

“This is quite intriguing,” said Markus Buehler, a materials scientist who studies spider silk at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was not involved in the study. “This attraction pulls the insect to the web and enhances the likelihood that it is being caught in the web.”

But it’s not clear how often this strange effect plays out in nature. Cross spiders mostly dine on flies, not bees, and so far, no one has tested whether flies have an electric charge. The bigger question, Buehler said, is how many insects are electrically charged.

Source: huffingtonpost.com


 

 

Radiologic Estimation of Hematoma Volume in Intracerebral Hemorrhage Trial by CT Scan.


Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Therapeutic intervention during the early stages of an intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) might have value in improving clinical outcomes. During the 73-site International Recombinant Activated Factor VII Intracerebral Hemorrhage Trial, CT techniques were used to monitor the change in hematoma volume in response to treatment. The use of CT imaging technology served 3 functions: to provide accurate measurements of the change in hematoma volume, intraventricular volume (IVH), and edema volume; to evaluate the use of CT scans as a predictor of patient outcomes; and to demonstrate that hematoma volume can serve as a surrogate marker for ICH clinical progression.

METHODS: The multicenter clinical trial received institutional review board approval and obtained informed consent from the patient or a legally acceptable representative (waived in a few cases of incapacity, according to local and national regulations). CT scans were used to quantify volumes of hemorrhage and to monitor evolution over a 72-hour period in patients with ICH treated with placebo or 40, 80, or 160 μg/kg of recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa). CT image data were transmitted digitally to an imaging laboratory and analyzed by 2 readers masked to patient and treatment data, by using Analyze software, a fully integrated toolkit for interactive display, processing, and measurement of biomedical image data. The use of this software enabled the evaluation of intraclass variability of CT scan interpretations.

RESULTS: Interpretations of ICH and IVH volumes of CT scans in patients treated in this study showed minimal intraclass variability. Variability was greatest for interpretations of edema volume.

CONCLUSION: These CT assessments of lesions could have value in future early hemostatic interventions in ICH patients.

Imaging of the central nervous system has continued to advance with the establishment of new technology and techniques (eg, CT perfusion, diffusion-weighted imaging/perfusion-weighted imaging) and provides increasingly detailed information regarding brain injury. Recent studies have demonstrated the utility of MR imaging to detect intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH),1 but CT is currently the imaging technique of choice to detect early hematoma of this condition. Our report describes the use of CT to quantify hematoma volume in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage and to evaluate the expansion/extension of hematomas by using established software packages.

Intracerebral hemorrhage affects an estimated 37,000 individuals in the United States annually,2 and only 38% of these individuals survive the first year.3 A prospective study of 103 patients by Brott et al2 used serial CT scans to evaluate hematoma growth during the first 20 hours after the onset of symptoms of ICH. This study demonstrated that 38% of patients had a >33% increase in hemorrhage volume in the first 20 hours from baseline CT. This window of maximal hematoma expansion was further refined in retrospective analyses conducted by Fujii et al4 and Kazui et al5 on ICH patients. Their results indicated that hematoma volume increased substantially within the first 2 or 3 hours after ICH onset, with the rate of volume change decreasing by 6 hours after onset. These findings were in contrast to previous observations that bleeding was completed within minutes of ICH onset.6 Additional studies established that the early expansion in hematoma volume was associated with increased neurologic deterioration and was a critical determinant in 30-day mortality rates in patients with ICH.2,7 Therefore, in patients with ICH, for whom there are no well-accepted diagnostic or biochemical indicators to evaluate the therapeutic effects of a hemostatic agent or to predict clinical outcomes, measurements of hematoma volume may have potential as a surrogate marker. As such, a reliable and accurate methodology for determination of lesion volume is of value in therapeutic intervention clinical trials.

CT scan technology, currently used to confirm a diagnosis of ICH, is fast and patient-friendly. However, the utility of CT imaging to function both as a prognostic tool and an accurate marker of therapeutic efficacy is limited by the inherent variation present in the determination of the hematoma volumes by the CT image reader. The degree of discrepancy in the interpretations of CT images between emergency department staff, staff radiologists, radiology interns, and neuroradiologists has recently been the focus of investigation. Reports indicate that the rate of deviation in the interpretation of emergency CT scans was between 1.7% and 4.2%.810 In a recent clinical trial using recombinant activated coagulation factor VII (rFVIIa, NovoSeven) to test the possibility of reducing hematoma growth, the inter- and intra-reader variability of CT scan interpretations was also evaluated. The CT lesion assessment methods used in this trial are presented here and may have value in future ICH clinical trials that investigate the effects of early hemostatic interventions.

Discussion

Neurologic deterioration in patients with ICH was previously thought to be due to hemorrhage-induced edema and mass effect. However, recent studies have shown that early neurologic deterioration actually correlates well with early hematoma growth. Accurate lesion measurements may allow the use of hematoma sizes and changes as clinical correlates or surrogate end points for therapeutic outcomes in clinical intervention trials.

References

 

Fiebach JB, Schellinger PD, Gass A, et al. Stroke magnetic resonance imaging is accurate in hyperacute intracerebral hemorrhage: a multicenter study on the validity of stroke imaging. Stroke 2004;35:502–06

Abstract/FREE Full Text

 

Brott T, Broderick J, Kothari R, et al. Early hemorrhage growth in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage. Stroke 1997;28:1–5

 

Abstract/FREE Full Text

 

Dennis MS, Burn JP, Sandercock PA, et al. Long-term survival after first-ever stroke: the Oxfordshire Community Stroke Project. Stroke1993;24:796–800

 

Abstract/FREE Full Text

 

Fujii Y, Tanaka R, Takeuchi S, et al. Hematoma enlargement in spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage. J Neurosurg 1994;80:51–57

Medline

 

Kazui S, Naritomi H, Yamamoto H, et al. Enlargement of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage: incidence and time course. Stroke1996;27:1783–87

 

Abstract/FREE Full Text

 

Herbstein DJ, Schaumberg HH. Hypertensive intracerebral hematoma: an investigation of the initial hemorrhage and rebleeding using chromium Cr 51-labeled erythrocytes. Arch Neurol 1974;30:412–14

 

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Broderick JP, Brott TG, Duldner JE, et al. Volume of intracerebral hemorrhage: a powerful and easy-to-use predictor of 30-day mortality.Stroke 1993;24:987–93

 

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Erly WK, Ashdown BC, Lucio RW, et al. Evaluation of emergency CT scans of the head: is there a community standard? AJR Am J Roentgenol2003;180:1727–30

 

Medline

  1. Mucci B, Brett C, Huntley LS, et al. Cranial computed tomography in trauma: the accuracy of interpretation by staff in the emergency department. Emerg Med J 2005;22:538–40

 

Abstract/FREE Full Text

 

Wysoki MG, Nassar CJ, Koenigsberg RA, et al. Head trauma: CT scan interpretation by radiology residents versus staff radiologists. Radiology1998;208:125–28

 

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Mayer SA, Brun NC, Begtrup K, et al. Recombinant activated factor VII for acute intracerebral hemorrhage. N Engl J Med 2005;352:777–85

CrossRefMedline

Source: http://www.ajnr.org

“Food Babe” – A Woman on a Mission to Change the Food Industry, and How You Can Too.


Story at-a-glance

  • Vani Hari’s blog, FoodBabe.com, and her “leading by example” style of food activism is an inspiration to a growing number of people not just in the US but around the world
  • Eating organically while on the road can be a challenge. One solution is to travel with a cooler stocked with your own food, and asking the locals about organic food sources
  • Vani’s achievements include making the food chain Chipotle list their ingredients, and label genetically engineered (GE) ingredients for transparency. The chain has also swapped out some GE ingredients for non-GMO alternatives
  • Kraft, like many other companies, use toxic ingredients in the products made for the US market, while formulating the exact same products differently for other countries
  • Simple ways to help educate and inspire others about healthier food choices include leading by example, asking questions about ingredients when eating out, and throwing all-organic dinner parties

Vani Hari, better known as “Food Babe,” is a blogger and food activist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Her blog, FoodBabe.com1, and her “leading by example” style of activism is an inspiration to a growing number of people not just in the US but around the world.

One of her most celebrated achievements is her participation in the Democratic National Convention, in which she drew massive media attention by standing up with a makeshift “Label GMOs” sign in the front row, during Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack’s speech.

This interview was taped a week after the March Against Monsanto where I participated in one of the local marches and had a chance to witness first-hand people working in the activist movement. It really helped me understand that there’s a widespread opportunity for virtually anyone to participate, get inspired, and to really make a difference.

Vani’s personal story is a perfect example of just how influential a single person can be, not just in educating others, but also in enticing major food chains to do the right thing and make positive changes.

The Painful ‘Birth’ of a Food Activist

Perhaps she was destined for the role of the activist, as her name actually means “voice” in Hindi. Indeed, a nationally ranked debater during her school years, Vani does not shy away from voicing her beliefs and sharing her ideals, and there’s little doubt the world is becoming better for it.

“Shortly after college, realizing that debate wasn’t really going to get me a job, I ended up switching my major to computer science and did what everybody else did. I entered the rat race,” she says.

“I got picked up by one of the top consulting firms in the country… managing large-scale projects, mergers, acquisitions, and integration work. I was travelling Sunday through Thursday, and quickly, at the age of 22 to 23 years old, I became really sick…

It was that life-changing moment that I realized, ‘Wait a minute, I gained 25 to 30 pounds within a three-month period, and then I had appendicitis?’ There’s something seriously wrong with what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been eating. What’s in the food, and what caused my body to be so out of whack?

Everyone says appendicitis is this random occurrence… But I don’t think it’s random, because it’s definitely related to your digestive system. And I was overloading my digestive system with tons of toxins.”

So, when she was 22, Vani made the decision to make her health her number one priority, vowing not to let work get in the way. By doing her own homework, she quickly realized that, first of all, not all calories are created equal—a concept clearly described by Dr. Robert Lustig, who states that fructose is “isocaloric but not isometabolic.”

This means you can have the same amount of calories from fructose or glucose, fructose and protein, or fructose and fat, but the metabolic effect will be entirely different despite the identical calorie count. This is largely because different nutrients provoke different hormonal responses, and those hormonal responses determine, among other things, how much fat you accumulate.

She also realized that not only are the vast majority of American food products loaded with toxic ingredients, from pesticides like glyphosate to artificial additivesbanned in many other countries, the food she was eating also fell short in terms of healthful nutrients—especially healthy fats like saturated fat.

“I’d been duped by the food industry,” she says. “I thought that eating a six-gram fat or less; 250-calorie or less Subway sandwich was healthy for me. I didn’t realize that the nine-grain bread had over 50 ingredients, with one ingredient that’s banned in Singapore. If you get caught using it, you get fined 450,000 dollars. I didn’t know that information. I ate those things because of the calories.

I thought, ‘Oh, look at all these vegetables inside.’ But I didn’t realize that the jalapenos have been dipped in petroleum-based dyes: Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. I didn’t realize that all of these buildups of chemicals in my body were causing these issues. And it wasn’t just appendicitis. I had asthma and allergies growing up. I was on three or four asthma medications… I had to see the doctor on a very frequent basis, even put on steroids to control my asthma. Now I have zero asthma. I’m on zero medications right now.”

The Power of One

Her corporate work, which involved loads of travel, forced her to perfect the art of eating organically while on the road—a feat that can be quite challenging. Her solution was to travel with a cooler stocked with her own food, and looking for organic food sources in the various cities she traveled to regularly. Spurred on by friends and coworkers who wanted to learn more, she started blogging about her discoveries in 2011. The following story is a potent example of just how influential a blogger can be:

“One day, I saw this frozen yogurt company at the mall, and their sign said, ‘Organic tastes better.’ I thought, ‘Oh, organic frozen yogurt at the mall. This is fabulous!’ I went in and asked for the ingredients, and they couldn’t give them to me. I went through my same investigative research that I developed in high school and tried to find out exactly what was in the ingredients.

I found out that they were using a little bit of organic milk, but then they were adding a slew of other chemicals, including trans fat and Blue #1 and Blue #2 to color my favorite flavor that I thought was organic… I started writing about that. It went viral. This was a local so-called organic yogurt company [with] about 30 or 40 stores. The CEO wrote me a letter, and they took down the signs. I said right then, ‘Wait a minute, hold on. I have this power as a blogger. I have this power as an activist to change the food system. If I can get a yogurt company to take down a sign, what else can I do?’”

This was the beginning of a series called “Food Babe Investigates,” where she digs deeply into the products sold by major food companies, such as Starbucks, Subway, and Chipotle. The latter resulted in another “one-woman victory” for Vani. Chipotle did not have a list of ingredients on their menus or website, and the corporate headquarters refused to supply her with one when she contacted them directly2.

“I said, ‘But your label says ‘Food with Integrity.’ How am I going to know that it’s food with integrity if I can’t know the ingredients and I can’t read them for myself?’” she says.

Shortly after her article appeared on her blog, Chipotle called her. The chain recently made the decision to not only release the lists of ingredients, but also started labeling genetically engineered (GE) ingredients for full transparency. They’ve also swapped out some of the GE ingredients, such as soybean oil, replacing it with rice bran oil.

Food Babe Takes on Kraft

These successes inspired her to take on Kraft, one of the biggest food corporations in America. Kraft, like many other companies, uses toxic ingredients in the products made for the US market, while formulating the exact same products differently for other countries. It’s quite eye-opening to compare the labels of the same food sold in the US compared to the exact same food sold in, say, the UK.

“For example, McDonalds French fries here in the United States are made with genetically engineered ingredients, trans fat oils that clog the heart (people say you shouldn’t even have 40 calories of that a day and that it increases your risk of heart disease by 23 percent), and they have this ingredient that is the key ingredient in Silly Putty to prevent the foaming of the oil.

In the UK, they have the exact same French fry. It’s made with basic ingredients: sunflower oil, potatoes, salt (actually, they add the salt after they cook it, so you control the salt), and a little dextrose, which is sugar. Completely different ingredient list, the same exact product. The same goes for Betty Crocker cake mix,” she says.

Clearly, food companies have the capacity to simply switch over to selling the same formulations in the US as they do in other countries. But they consciously choose, depending on the market, what is the most economical and profitable approach to use. In this case, Americans get the synthetic additives because it’s cheaper to make and we don’t demand “the good stuff.” Many other countries also seem to have more health conscious regulators who actually have a modicum of concern for their citizens’ welfare.

“Exactly. I found out that they did this for Kraft macaroni and cheese,” she says. “They actually took out two petroleum-based dyes [from the European version] because they didn’t want to put a label on their product that says, “May cause adverse effects on activity and attention in children.

The European version of Kraft macaroni and cheese has paprika and beta-carotene, but the one here [in the US] has Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. Attention deficit disorder, autism, and all of these things linked to hyperactivity disorder have increased dramatically in the United States. Nobody’s really looking at the chemicals, and kids everywhere are eating this Mac & Cheese. It’s really not fair that Kraft figured out that this ingredient was causing harm—because they found out when the Europeans told them: “You’re going to have to put this label on there, or you’re going to have to reformulate it.” They reformulated it, so it’s not like we’re asking them to reinvent the wheel.”

Why Won’t Kraft Give American Kids a Safer Mac & Cheese?

To address the issue and raise awareness, Vani started a Change.org petition3 asking Kraft to remove artificial dyes from American Mac & Cheese. The petition went viral, collecting more than 200,000 signatures within the first couple of days. A month later, she hand-delivered about 270,000 signatures to Kraft’s Chicago headquarters.  Yet to this day, Kraft has not responded to the petition that has gathered 336,000 signatures as of this writing, and the company has not in any way indicated that it’s considering changing their formulation to protect American children from the well-known harms of these ingredients… Instead, Kraft responded by stating that:

“We carefully follow the laws and regulations in the countries where our products are sold. So in the US, we only use colors that are approved and deemed safe for food use by the Food and Drug Administration.”

Again, Kraft clearly knows the ingredients in question have been linked to adverse effects on activity and attention in children because regulators in Europe have informed them of this. The moral thing would be to acknowledge the discrepancy and apply the precautionary principle. Just because the FDA says it’s okay doesn’t mean they have to use those ingredients!

Still, there is hope. By inspiring people to collectively act together, our voices can be heard, because we clearly outnumber the people running these food companies. The challenge is that we’re not effectively organized to let them know our views and understand the intention of those views. Yet this is the transformative power that we have, and Vani is an excellent example of how we can make a difference.

Americans are Denied Fundamental Right to Make Informed Food Choices

As I’ve stated on many occasions, over 90 percent of processed foods sold in the US contain genetically engineered (GE) corn and soy. These two ingredients are so pervasive they’re in foods you’d never expect, including baby food and condiments of every sort.

“They can actually mimic other real food ingredients using corn and soy,” Vani says. “The majority of the food that I’d been eating was either GE corn or soy. No wonder my entire body was acidic, not alkaline, and was completely overrun with the lack of nutrition, because I was getting my nutrition from one or two ingredients. I wasn’t getting my nutrition from kale, superfoods, and good sources of nutrition.”

And then I found out that not only is it in the 90 percent of the processed foods, it’s in 90 percent of the restaurants. It’s in almost all foods in America, but not in other countries. They require a label in other countries. Over 65 countries right now require some type of regulation [on GMOs]. And the United States does not. Our fundamental rights are being denied right now as Americans.”

Indeed, Monsanto has repeatedly demonstrated its cleverness, sophistication, and overwhelmingly successful lobbying efforts, to prevent GMO labeling in the US and to keep Americans in the dark about what we’re eating. Monsanto now controls virtually every single federal regulatory agency that has governance over their ability to do their business. They’ve effectively circumvented all the possibilities of regulating them through the federal process.

That’s why we’re so excited that last year’s ballot initiative in California was able to act as such a tremendous springboard to catapult Americans into greater awareness. We’re now seeing this explosion of states taking local measures to counteract the willful ineptitude and corruption within our federal agencies. So although it looked like we lost, and Monsanto undoubtedly uncorked quite a few bottles of champagne when Prop 37 failed, I believe we actually won the war despite losing that battle. Prop 37 catalyzed a tremendous amount of interest and activism that has since inspired a whole network of grassroots action.

“I think voting with your dollars is such a powerful movement,” Vani says. “I love seeing people starting to boycott Kraft in general, because they haven’t listened to over 336,000 people on our petition [at the time of this writing].”

How Vani Made Headlines at 2012 Democratic National Convention

Vani became a delegate for North Carolina at the 2012 Democratic National Convention on the platform of genetically engineered foods. She’d previously helped get President Obama elected in 2008, and as you may recall, in 2007 Obama promised to label genetically engineered foods should he get into the White House.

Vani was outraged to realize that not one single activist group was represented at the Democratic National Convention. So, just as Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture and staunch Monsanto proponent, was about to speak, she made a makeshift sign out of her program leaflet by writing on it with her lipstick. “LABEL GMO’S” and then she stood up, in the front row, holding her sign high as Vilsack took to the podium.

“Within 20 seconds cameras besieged me,” she says. “I mean, completely took the focus off of his speech and completely besieged me. I was on C-SPAN, and people were writing on my Facebook page. ‘Oh, my God! Food Babe’s protesting at the Democratic National Convention.’ It was crazy.

My whole delegation behind me who were elected from other districts and who hadn’t heard my spiel during my district run were all confused. They’re like, ‘What is she doing? She’s causing a ruckus here?…’ It wasn’t until all of that commotion was of over that I realized the impact of what I did that day: I educated my entire delegation… People started reading about this labeling issue because the reporters were capturing it and it was being broadcasted across the nation. …. I got a personal security guard for the rest of the convention dedicated to me. He gave me a really hard time for the rest of the convention and I was banished to the back.”

The theme of last year’s Democratic Convention was “Moving Forward.” But how can we move forward as a country when our farm policy and our food policy are so backward and American citizens are getting increasingly ill from the food we eat, the water we drink, and pollutants in our immediate environment?

“The bottom line is that food is medicine. If our food is sick, we’re going to be sick,” she says.

What Can YOU Do to Create Change?

Here are a few of Vani’s tips to start becoming a food activist, starting with leading by example. Truly, one of the most powerful ways to inspire others to change is to demonstrate your beliefs by walking the talk and being the healthiest, happiest, most empowered version of yourself that you can be. This way, when people ask how you lost all that weight, or how you got that fabulous complexion, or how you’re able to keep your energy levels up all day without two pots of coffee, you can simply share what you know rather than preach to those who might not be open to hearing what you have to say.

“It’s really important for all of us – the people who are reading the blogs, participating, and caring about what they put in their food – to tell their friends and family about it. Do it from a loving, giving standpoint, not from a critical or judgmental standpoint,” Vani says

Other tips for cleaning up your own diet and reaching out to others to share what you’ve learned include:

  • Figure out healthy replacement foods“I think that’s one of the questions I get on the blog the most: ‘Food Babe, you’re taking away all my food. If I can’t eat all this stuff, what can I eat instead?’” she says. Rest assured, while it may not be immediately obvious for people who have grown up relying on ready-made, pre-packaged foods and snacks, you can replace those foods with something equally satisfying that will support, rather than wreck, your health.
  • Swap out your local grocer. Swapping out your local grocery store for a natural health food store is one way that can help you find better replacement foods, since many of health food stores like Whole Foods and Earth Fare do not allow certain ingredients to begin with. Also, start shopping at the farmer’s market, and eliminate processed foods from your diet.
  • Shop online“That has been one of the most fascinating things to me: if I can’t find an ingredient in my town, I can usually get in on the Internet,” she says
  • When eating out, ask your server about ingredients, such as: “Are you using any corn or soybean oil in these products that you’re feeding me today? My salad dressing, does it have soybean or corn oil?” You can open the conversation up in a positive way by asking questions about the foods you’re about to order at a time when everyone’s looking at ingredients anyway.
  • Throw organic dinner parties“Having people come over to your house and trying organic food has really helped inspire my friends to realize that you can eat really healthy and have organic food that tastes great,” Vani says. It’s also a great way to, again, lead by example and show how to cook without processed foods and questionable ingredients.

‘Pay the Farmer, or Pay the Hospital’

Vani brings up a point that I too have shared on countless occasions, which is that you can either spend your money on healthy foods now, or you can spend it on medical bills down the road. According to Vani:

“There’s this great young individual Birke Baehr, a 14-year-old genius who wants to be a farmer. He’s spreading his message. He came up with that. He says, “You can either pay the farmer, or you can pay the hospital.

I think people, when they start to eliminate processed foods, eliminate GMOs, buy organic food, eliminate the toxins and the chemicals in their food, and start feeling well… the people around them are going to say, ‘I want some of that. I want to feel like that person. Wow, look at her. Look at all the energy. And look what she’s giving back to the world.’ There is no way I would be able to have become a consultant, live that lifestyle, and started a blog, had I not been taking care of myself 100 percent. There’s no way I would have been able to give back to society that way. I wouldn’t be able to do it.

I think feeling good should be everyone’s kind of number one priority in life. What’s the point of living life, traveling the world, and doing things that you want to do, if you can’t feel good?

As someone who has spent the greater portion of my adult life making my health a priority in my life, I cannot think of anything that could possibly compete with feeling good and aging well. What’s your take?

Keep Fighting for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

While California Prop. 37 failed to pass last November by a very narrow margin, the fight for GMO labeling is far from over. The field-of-play has now moved to the state of Washington, where the people’s initiative 522, “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act,” will require food sold in retail outlets to be labeled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients.

Remember, as with CA Prop. 37, they need support of people like YOU to succeed. Prop. 37 failed with a very narrow margin simply because we didn’t have the funds to counter the massive ad campaigns created by the No on 37 camp, led by Monsanto and other major food companies. Let’s not allow Monsanto and its allies to confuse and mislead the people of Washington and Vermont as they did in California. So please, I urge you to get involved and help in any way you can.

  • No matter where you live in the United States, please donate money to these labeling efforts through the Organic Consumers Fund.
  • Sign up to learn more about how you can get involved by visiting Yeson522.com!
  • For timely updates on issues relating to these and other labeling initiatives, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
  • Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the Washington initiative.

Source: .mercola.com

Helpful Tips for Sleeping Better This Summer.


Story at-a-glance

  • Nearly 41 million US adults are sleeping just six hours or less each night, which recent research has linked to an increased risk of chronic inflammation and heart disease in women
  • Men with restless legs syndrome have a 40 percent higher risk of total mortality. According to the researchers, one of several potential mechanisms that might account for this increased mortality risk is disturbed sleep
  • Sleeping pills have been linked to a wide variety of health hazards, including a nearly four-fold increase in the risk of death, along with a 35 percent increased risk of cancer
  • Tips for better sleep are discussed, including the critical elements of your sleeping sanctuary, when to exercise to promote sleep, foods and beverages to avoid before bedtime, and the effect of electronic gadgets
  • Using EFT and/or increasing your melatonin can usually offer help when nothing else seems to work.
  • summer-sleep

If you’re like most Americans, you’re likely not getting enough sleep. Nearly 41 million US adults are sleeping just six hours or less each night, which recent research has linked to an increased risk of chronic inflammation and heart disease in women.1

Over the course of the five-year long study,2 women who slept poorly—quantified as sleeping less than six hours per night—had 2.5 times higher increases in inflammation levels compared to men who slept poorly. As reported by the featured article:3

“Researchers speculated that the gender difference may be due to lower estrogen levels in the study’s post-menopausal female subjects, whereas men were protected by higher levels of testosterone.”

But regardless of gender-based hormonal differences, summertime can be a time of year when sleep becomes harder to come by, courtesy of rising temperatures. This is just one of a whole host of factors that can have an adverse effect on your sleep. Restless legs syndrome is another ailment that can prevent you from getting sufficient amounts of shut-eye.

Interestingly, a recent observational study4 found that men with restless legs syndrome have a whopping 40 percent higher risk of total mortality. This finding was independent of other known risk factors, including a variety of chronic diseases. As reported by MedPage Today:5

“The relationship between restless legs syndrome and all-cause mortality was stronger for men who had symptoms 15 or more times per month compared with those who had symptoms five to 14 times per month.”

According to the researchers, one (of several) potential mechanisms that might account for this increased mortality risk is disturbed sleep. Previous research has also found that people with chronic insomnia have a three times greater risk of dying from any cause.

Sleep Deprivation Takes a Serious Toll on Your Health…

You can have the healthiest diet on the planet, doing vegetable juicing and using fermented veggies, be as fit as an Olympic athlete, be emotionally balanced, but if you aren’t sleeping well it is just a matter of time before it will adversely, potentially seriously affect your health.

Sleep deprivation is such a chronic condition these days that you might not even realize you suffer from it. Science has now established that a sleep deficit can have serious, far reaching effects on your health. For example, interrupted or impaired sleep can:

  • Dramatically weaken your immune system
  • Accelerate tumor growth—tumors grow two to three times faster in laboratory animals with severe sleep dysfunctions, primarily due to disruptedmelatonin production. Melatonin inhibits the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cell types, as well as triggering cancer cell apoptosis (self destruction). The hormone also interferes with the new blood supply tumors require for their rapid growth (angiogenesis)
  • Cause a pre-diabetic state, making you feel hungry even if you’ve already eaten, which can wreak havoc on your weight
  • Seriously impair your memory; even a single night of poor sleep—meaning sleeping only 4 to 6 hours—can impact your ability to think clearly the next day. It’s also known to decrease your problem solving ability

What You Need to Know About Sleeping Pills

While it may be tempting to look for a pill to quickly help you sleep, these will notaddress any of the underlying causes of insomnia. In fact, researchers have repeatedly shown that sleeping pills don’t work, but your brain is being tricked into thinking they do…

In one meta-analytic study, they found that, on average, sleeping pills help people fall asleep approximately 10 minutes sooner. From a biomedical perspective, this is an insignificant improvement. On average, sleeping pills increase total sleep time by about 15-20 minutes. But here is the catch: This study also discovered that while most sleeping pills created poor, fragmented sleep, they also createdamnesia, so upon waking, the participants could not recall how poorly they’d actually slept!

Worse yet, sleeping pills have also been linked to a wide variety of health hazards, including a nearly four-fold increase in the risk of death, along with a 35 percent increased risk of cancer.

Additionally, most people do not realize that over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills — those containing Benadryl — can have a half life of about 18 hours. So, if you take them every night, you’re basically sedated much of the time. Not surprisingly, they’re associated with cognitive deficits in the morning. Trust me, there are far better, safer and more effective ways to get a good night’s sleep…

Tips for High-Quality Shut-Eye from a Sleep Wellness Consultant

As previously discussed by Dr. Rubin Naiman, a leader in integrative medicine approaches to sleep and dreams, sleep is the outcome of an interaction between two variables, namely sleepiness and what he refers to as “noise.” This is any kind of stimulation that inhibits or disrupts sleep. In order to get a good night’s sleep, you want your sleepiness level to be high, and the “noise” level to be low. Under normal conditions, your sleepiness should gradually increase throughout the day and evening, peaking just before you go to bed at night. However, if noise is conceptually greater than your level of sleepiness, you will not be able to fall asleep.

In a recent CNN article, 6 sleep wellness consultant Nancy Rothstein offered up six tips to improve your sleep, wisely starting off by addressing environmental “noise” in your bedroom (for the rest of her suggestions, please see the original article):7

  • Create a sleep sanctuary. This means removing items associated with entertainment, recreation, work and hobbies, and turning your bedroom into a single-purpose space—one for sleeping. Of utmost importance: Make sure your bedroom iscool, dark and quiet. These three factors can have a major impact on your sleep.

In regards to temperature, studies show that the optimal room temperature for sleep is quite cool, between 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep the temperature in your bedroom no higher than 70 degrees.

As for light, even the tiniest bit of light in the room can disrupt your internal clock and your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin, hormones involved in your body’s circadian rhythm of sleep and wakefulness. So close your bedroom door, get rid of night-lights, and most importantly, cover your windows. I recommend using blackout shades or heavy, opaque drapes. Also cover up your clock if it has a lit display. Alternatively, you could wear an eye mask to block out any stray light.

  • Turn off your gadgets well before bedtime. Again, the artificial glow from your TV, iPad, computer or smartphone can serve as a stimulus for keeping you awake well past your bedtime by disrupting melatonin production. I recommend turning off all electronic gadgets at least one hour before bed. As Rothstein suggests, that time is far better spent reading a good old fashioned book, practicing relaxation techniques or meditating.

Some people find the sound of white noise or nature sounds, such as the ocean or forest, to be soothing and sleep-promoting. An excellent relaxation/meditation option to listen to before bed is the Insight audio CD. Another favorite is theSleep Harmony CD, which uses a combination of advanced vibrational technology and guided meditation to help you effortlessly fall into deep delta sleep within minutes. The CD works on the principle of “sleep wave entrainment” to assist your brain in gearing down for sleep.

  • Exercise to sleep better, but do it early! Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day can improve your sleep, but if you exercise too close to bedtime (generally within the three hours before), it may keep you awake instead.
  • Party-goers beware: alcohol tends to prevent good sleep… Summertime tends to spark party invitations, but as Rothstein warns, it would be wise to consider how a few drinks will affect your sleep pattern. Although alcohol will make you drowsy, the effect is short lived and you will often wake up several hours later, unable to fall back asleep. Alcohol can also keep you from entering the deeper stages of sleep, where your body does most of its healing.

The same applies to eating. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid eating or snacking at least three hours before bed. Especially troublesome are grains and sugars, as these will raise your blood sugar and delay sleep. Later, when your blood sugar drops, you may wake up and be unable to fall back asleep.

Two More Aces Up Your Sleeve When Sleep Becomes Elusive…

My personal favorite fix for insomnia is the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). Most people can learn the basics of this gentle tapping technique in a few minutes. EFT can help balance your body’s bioenergy system and resolve some of the emotional stresses that are contributing to your insomnia at a very deep level. The results are typically long lasting and improvement is remarkably rapid.

Another strategy that can help is to increase your melatonin. Ideally it is best to increase your levels naturally, by exposing yourself to bright sunlight during daytime hours (along with full spectrum fluorescent bulbs in the winter) followed by absolute complete darkness at night. If that isn’t possible, you may want to consider a melatonin supplement. In scientific studies, melatonin has been shown to increase sleepiness, help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep, decrease restlessness, and reverse daytime fatigue. Melatonin is a completely natural substance, made by your body, and has many health benefits in addition to sleep.

If you decide to give melatonin supplements a try, start with a very small dose, about an hour before bed—as little as 0.25 mg can be sufficient for some.8 Many end up taking too much right off the bat, which could end up having the reverse effect you’re looking for. Taking too much could also result in side effects9 such as drowsiness, confusion, headache, nightmares, and more. So, start with a tiny dose, and if after three nights you notice no improvement, take a little more. The tips discussed so far are among the most important for a restful night’s sleep, but they are only the beginning. For more, please read my comprehensive sleep guide:33 Secret’s to a Good Night’s Sleep.

Improving Your Sleep Hygiene Pays Off in Health Dividends

There’s convincing evidence showing that if you do not sleep enough, you’re really jeopardizing your health. Everybody loses sleep here and there, and your body can adjust for temporary shortcomings. But if you develop a chronic pattern of sleeping less than five or six hours a night, then you’re increasing your risk of a number of health conditions, including heart disease.

To make your bedroom into a suitable sleep sanctuary, begin by making sure it’s pitch-black, cool, and quiet. Remember, even the tiniest bit of light can disrupt your pineal gland’s production of melatonin and serotonin. For this reason, I highly recommend adding room-darkening blinds or drapes to your bedroom, or if this is not possible wearing an eye mask to block out any stray light.

For even more helpful guidance on how to improve your sleep, please review my 33 Secrets to a Good Night’s Sleep. If you’re even slightly sleep deprived, I encourage you to implement some of these tips tonight, as high-quality sleep is one of the most important factors in your health and quality of life.

Source: mercola.com

 

What the Science Says About Intermittent Fasting.


Story at-a-glance

  • It’s long been known that calorie restriction can increase the lifespan of certain animals. More recent research suggests that intermittent fasting can provide the same health benefits as constant calorie restriction, which may be helpful for those who cannot successfully reduce their everyday calorie intake
  • “Undernutrition without malnutrition” is the only experimental approach that consistently improves survival in animals with cancer, and extends overall lifespan by about 30 percent
  • Both intermittent fasting and continuous calorie restriction have been shown to produce weight loss and improve metabolic disease risk markers. However, intermittent fasting tends to be slightly more effective for reducing insulin resistance
  • Besides turning you into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can also boost your level of human growth hormone (aka the “fitness hormone”) production by as much as 1,200 percent for women and 2,000 percent for men
  • Intermittent fasting can improve brain function by boosting production of the protein BDNF, which activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons and triggers other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and helps protect your neuro-muscular system from degradation
    • Is it a good idea to “starve” yourself just a little bit each day, or a couple of days a week? Mounting evidence indicates that yes, intermittent fasting (IF) could have a very beneficial impact on your health and longevity.
    • I believe it’s one of the most powerful interventions out there if you’re struggling with your weight and related health issues. One of the primary reasons for this is because it helps shift your body from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat as its primary fuel.
    • As discussed in the featured article,1 intermittent fasting is not about binge eating followed by starvation, or any other extreme form of dieting. Rather what we’re talking about here involves timing your meals to allow for regular periods of fasting.
    • I prefer daily intermittent fasting, but you could also fast a couple of days a week if you prefer, or every other day. There are many different variations.
    • To be effective, in the case of daily intermittent fasting, the length of your fast must be at least 16 hours. This means eating only between the hours of 11am until 7pm, as an example. Essentially, this equates to simply skipping breakfast, and making lunch your first meal of the day instead.
    • You can restrict it even further — down to six, four, or even two hours if you want, but you can still reap many of these rewards by limiting your eating to an eight-hour window each day.

      This is because it takes about six to eight hours for your body to metabolize your glycogen stores; after that you start to shift to burning fat. However, if you are replenishing your glycogen by eating every eight hours (or sooner), you make it far more difficult for your body to use your fat stores as fuel.

    • I have been experimenting with different types of scheduled eating for the past two years and currently restrict my eating to a 6- to 7-hour window each day. While you’re not required to restrict the amount of food you eat when on this type of daily scheduled eating plan, I would caution against versions of intermittent fasting that gives you free reign to eat all the junk food you want when not fasting, as this seems awfully counterproductive.
    • Also, according to research published in 2010,2 intermittent fasting with compensatory overeating did not improve survival rates nor delay prostate tumor growth in mice. Essentially, by gorging on non-fasting days, the health benefits of fasting can easily be lost. If so, then what’s the point?
    • I view intermittent fasting as a lifestyle, not a diet, and that includes making healthy food choices whenever you do eat. Also, proper nutrition becomes even more important when fasting, so you really want to address your food choices before you try fasting.
    • This includes minimizing carbs and replacing them with healthful fats, like coconut oil, olive oil, olives, butter, eggs, avocados, and nuts. It typically takes several weeks to shift to fat burning mode, but once you do, your cravings for unhealthy foods and carbs will automatically disappear. This is because you’re now actually able to burn your stored fat and don’t have to rely on new fast-burning carbs for fuel. Unfortunately, despite mounting evidence, many health practitioners are still reluctant to prescribe fasting to their patients. According to Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat:3
    • “Health care practitioners across the board are so afraid to recommend eating less because of the stigma involved in that recommendation, but we are more than happy to recommend that someone start going to the gym. If all I said was you need to get to the gym and start eating healthier, no one would have a problem with it. When the message is not only should you eat less, you could probably go without eating for 24 hours once or twice a week, suddenly it’s heresy.”
    • Aside from removing your cravings for sugar and snack foods and turning you into an efficient fat-burning machine, thereby making it far easier to maintain a healthy body weight, modern science has confirmed there are many other good reasons to fast intermittently. For example, research presented at the 2011 annual scientific sessions of the American College of Cardiology in New Orleans4 showed that fasting triggered a 1,300 percent rise of human growth hormone (HGH) in women, and an astounding 2,000 percent in men.
    • HGH, human growth hormone, commonly referred to as “the fitness hormone,” plays an important role in maintaining health, fitness and longevity, including promotion of muscle growth, and boosting fat loss by revving up your metabolism. The fact that it helps build muscle while simultaneously promoting fat loss explains why HGH helps you lose weight without sacrificing muscle mass, and why even athletes can benefit from the practice (as long as they don’t overtrain and are careful about their nutrition). The only other thing that can compete in terms of dramatically boosting HGH levels is high-intensity interval training. Other health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

·         Intermittent Fasting — More a Lifestyle Than a Diet

·         The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Normalizing your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which is key for optimal health Improving biomarkers of disease
Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone” Reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damage
Lowering triglyceride levels Preserving memory functioning and learning

·         Intermittent Fasting Is as Good or Better Than Continuous Calorie Restriction

  • According to Dr. Stephen Freedland, associate professor of urology and pathology at the Duke University Medical Center, “undernutrition without malnutrition” is the only experimental approach that consistently improves survival in animals with cancer, as well as extends lifespan overall by as much as 30 percent.5 Interestingly enough, intermittent fasting appears to provide nearly identical health benefits without being as difficult to implement and maintain. It’s easier for most people to simply restrict their eating to a narrow window of time each day, opposed to dramatically decreasing their overall daily calorie intake.
  • Mark Mattson, senior investigator for the National Institute on Aging, which is part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), has researched the health benefits of intermittent fasting, as well as the benefits of calorie restriction. According to Mattson,6 there are several theories to explain why fasting works:
  • “The one that we’ve studied a lot, and designed experiments to test, is the hypothesis that during the fasting period, cells are under a mild stress, and they respond to the stress adaptively by enhancing their ability to cope with stress and, maybe, to resist disease… There is considerable similarity between how cells respond to the stress of exercise and how cells respond to intermittent fasting.”
  • In one of his studies,7 overweight adults with moderate asthma lost eight percent of their body weight by cutting their calorie intake by 80 percent on alternate days for eight weeks. Markers of oxidative stress and inflammation also decreased, and asthma-related symptoms improved, along with several quality-of-life indicators.
  • More recently, Mattson and colleagues compared the effectiveness of intermittent fasting against continuous calorie restriction for weight loss, insulin sensitivity and other metabolic disease risk markers. The study, published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2011,8 found that intermittent fasting was as effective as continuous calorie restriction for improving all of these issues, and slightly better for reducing insulin resistance. According to the authors:
  • “Both groups experienced comparable reductions in leptin, free androgen index, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and increases in sex hormone binding globulin, IGF binding proteins 1 and 2. Reductions in fasting insulin and insulin resistance were modest in both groups, but greater with IER [intermittent fasting] than with CER [continuous energy restriction].”
  • Your brain can also benefit from intermittent fasting. As reported in the featured article:
  • “Mattson has also researched the protective benefits of fasting to neurons. If you don’t eat for 10–16 hours, your body will go to its fat stores for energy, and fatty acids called ketones will be released into the bloodstream. This has been shown to protect memory and learning functionality, says Mattson, as well as slow disease processes in the brain.”
  • Besides releasing ketones as a byproduct of burning fat, intermittent fasting also affects brain function by boosting production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Mattson’s research suggests that fasting every other day (restricting your meal on fasting days to about 600 calories), tends to boost BDNF by anywhere from 50 to 400 percent,9 depending on the brain region. BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • BDNF also expresses itself in the neuro-muscular system where it protects neuro-motors from degradation. (The neuromotor is the most critical element in your muscle. Without the neuromotor, your muscle is like an engine without ignition. Neuro-motor degradation is part of the process that explains age-related muscle atrophy.) So BDNF is actively involved in both your musclesand your brain, and this cross-connection, if you will, appears to be a major part of the explanation for why a physical workout can have such a beneficial impact on your brain tissue — and why the combination of intermittent fasting with high intensity exerciseappears to be a particularly potent combination.
  • If you’re ready to give intermittent fasting a try, consider skipping breakfast, make sure you stop eating and drinking anything but water three hours before you go to sleep, and restrict your eating to an 8-hour (or less) time frame every day. In the 6-8 hours that you do eat, have healthy protein, minimize your carbs like pasta, bread, and potatoes and exchange them for healthful fats like butter, eggs, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and nuts — essentially the very fats the media and “experts” tell you to avoid.
  • This will help shift you from carb burning to fat burning mode. Once your body has made this shift, it is nothing short of magical as your cravings for sweets, and food in general, rapidly normalizes and your desire for sweets and junk food radically decreases if not disappears entirely.
  • Remember it takes a few weeks, and you have to do it gradually, but once you succeed and switch to fat burning mode, you’ll be easily able to fast for 18 hours and not feel hungry. The “hunger” most people feel is actually cravings for sugar, and these will disappear, as if by magic, once you successfully shift over to burning fat instead.
  • Another phenomenal side effect/benefit that occurs is that you will radically improve the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Supporting healthy gut bacteria, which actually outnumber your cells 10 to one, is one of the most important things you can do to improve your immune system so you won’t get sick, or get coughs, colds and flus. You will sleep better, have more energy, have increased mental clarity and concentrate better. Essentially every aspect of your health will improve as your gut flora becomes balanced.
  • Based on my own phenomenal experience with intermittent fasting, I believe it’s one of the most powerful ways to shift your body into fat burning mode and improve a wide variety of biomarkers for disease. The effects can be further magnified by exercising while in a fasted state. For more information on that, please see my previous article High-Intensity Interval Training and Intermittent Fasting – A Winning Combo.
  • Clearly, it’s another powerful tool in your box to help you and your family take control of your health, and an excellent way to take your fitness to the next level.

·         How Intermittent Fasting Benefits Your Brain

·         Give Intermittent Fasting a Try

Source: mercola.com

Bee-Washing: It’s Pollination Week? Where Are the Bees?


bee-washing

Story at-a-glance

  • 25,000 bumblebees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot just as National Pollinator Week recently kicked off
  • The bees were reported falling out of 55 blooming European linden trees near a shopping center over a period of several days; the trees had just been sprayed with Safari, a neonicotinoid insecticide
  • Neonicotinoids are taken up through the plant’s vascular system as it grows, and the chemical is expressed in the pollen and nectar of the plant; neonicotinoids are highly toxic to bees
  • In the US alone, a full one-third of the food supply depends on pollination from bees; if bee colonies continue to be devastated, major food shortages could result

The start of National Pollinator Week was marked by a tragic and perhaps eerily prophetic event, as an estimated 25,000 bumblebees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot.

Over a period of several days, multiple calls to the Oregon Department of Agriculture reported bees and other insects falling out of 55 blooming European linden trees near a shopping center.

The damage was so severe that Dan Hilburn, director of plant programs at the state Agriculture Department, said:1 “I’ve never encountered anything quite like it in 30 years in the business.”

Neonicotinoid Pesticide Is the Suspected Culprit

The 55 trees where the dead bees were found had been sprayed with Safari, a neonicotinoid insecticide, on the same day the first bees were reported dead. Neonicotinoids are the most widely used pesticides in the world, and they are used on most American crops, especially corn.

These chemicals are typically applied to seeds before planting, allowing the pesticide to be taken up through the plant’s vascular system as it grows. As a result, the chemical is expressed in the pollen and nectar of the plant, and hence the danger to bees and other pollinating insects. It states directly on the label that these insecticides should not be used if bees are in the area. As the Cornucopia Institute reported:2

“Safari is part of the neonicotinoid pesticide family. When it is sprayed on a plant, the leaves, flowers and nectar become toxic to almost all insects. The product’s label on the distributor’s website warns it is ‘highly toxic’ to bees and tells applicators not to apply it ‘if bees are visiting the area.’”

If tests show that the insecticide is responsible for the bee deaths, the company that rents and manages the shopping center could be guilty of violating state or federal laws related to pesticide regulations, which can carry fines of up to $10,000.

In the meantime, the Agriculture Department installed bee-proof nets over the trees to prevent any further bee deaths. Unfortunately, there’s still a much larger issue at hand, which is the ongoing use of these toxic insecticides.

How Many Bees Have to Die Before Action Is Taken Against Neonicotinoids?

A general consensus among beekeepers is that the ongoing honeybee die-offs are most definitely related to toxic chemicals, and neonicotinoids in particular.

The disappearance of bee colonies began accelerating in the US shortly after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed these new insecticides on the market in the mid-2000s. In May, beekeepers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the agency over its failure to protect bees from these toxic pesticides.

Meanwhile, France has banned Imidacloprid, a neonicotinoid, for use on corn and sunflowers after reporting large losses of bees after exposure to it. They also rejected Bayer´s application for the neonicotinoid Clothianidin, and other countries, such as Italy, have banned certain neonicotinoids as well.

The EPA acknowledges that “pesticide poisoning” may be one factor leading to bee die-offs known as colony collapse disorder,3 yet they have been slow to act to protect bees from this threat. The current lawsuit may help spur them toward more urgent action, which is desperately needed as the food supply hangs in the balance.

There are about 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of food globally; of these, 71 are pollinated by bees. In the US alone, a full one-third of the food supply depends on pollination from bees. Apple orchards, for instance, require one colony of bees per acre to be adequately pollinated. So if bee colonies continue to be devastated, major food shortages could result.

More Bees Dying as Monsanto and Bayer Enter the Bee Business

Serious honeybee die-offs have been occurring around the world for the past decade, but this year the US experienced the highest losses of honeybee populations so far, with most of the nation’s beekeepers losing anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of their bee population.

Pesticide manufacturers are likely none too pleased about the recent accusations hurled against their products, so they’ve taken matters into their own hands and purchased leading bee research firms, ostensibly to study colony collapse disorder and other bee research.

Monsanto, which is the world leader in genetically modified (GM) crops (and the pesticides and herbicides that go along with them), recently bought Beeologics, a company whose primary goal is finding a solution to the colony collapse disorder.

Bayer CropScience – a leading manufacturer of the neonicotinoid pesticides – plans to open the North American Bee Care Center by the end of 2013. The Center is intended to be a research hub as well as promote “the active promotion of bee-responsible use of Bayer products along with communication activities worldwide.”4

Can Monsanto and Bayer’s Bee Research Really Be Trusted?

Clearly, the forthcoming research from Beeologics and the North American Bee Care Center may now be tainted with regard to these companies’ products and their impact on bee populations. In other words, they are going to stop at nothing to make sure their pesticides and GM crops are completely cleared of any wrongdoing.

Already, in 2010 a study by Montana bee researcher Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk found that CCD was not caused by pesticides but rather a combination of fungus and virus, found in all collapsed colonies, may be the culprit… what was not widely reported in the media, however, was that Dr. Bromenshenk received a significant research grant from Bayer to study bee pollination – a massive conflict of interest that is likely to be carried over into any upcoming research from Bayer and Monsanto.

Further, one of the observed effects of neonicotinoids is weakening of the bee’s immune system, allowing them to fall prey to secondary, seemingly “natural” bee infections, such as parasites, mites, viruses, fungi and bacteria. Pathogens such as Varroa mites, Nosema, fungal and bacterial infections, and Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IAPV) are found in large amounts in honeybee hives on the verge of collapse, and this allows researchers to blame the deaths on these “natural” causes when the insecticides were ultimately the cause.

Tips for Helping the Bees and Other Pollinators

The Pollinator Partnership, which initiated Pollinator Week, has released many ways you can help the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations.5 Clearly major steps need to be taken on a national level to protect pollinators from toxic chemicals and other threats, but you can even make a difference right in your own backyard:

  • Reduce or eliminate your use of pesticides
  • Plant a pollinator-friendly garden by choosing a variety of plants that will continue flowering from spring through fall; check out the Bee Smart Pollinator App for a database of nearly 1,000 pollinator-friendly plants
  • Choose plants native to your region and stick with old-fashioned varieties, which have the best blooms, fragrance and nectar/pollen for attracting and feeding pollinators
  • Install a bee house
  • Supply water, even a dripping faucet or a suspended milk carton with a pinhole in the bottom, for insects and animals

Source: mercola.com

Ketogenic Diet in Combination with Calorie Restriction and Hyperbaric Treatment Offer New Hope in Quest for Non-Toxic Cancer Treatment.


Story at-a-glance

  • A mounting body of research suggests most cancers are highly responsive to therapeutic ketosis—a natural physiologic state induced during prolonged states of decreased glucose—in combination with calorie restriction
  • One way to achieve this is to use a ketogenic diet that retains non-starchy vegetable carbohydrates, replacing them with high amounts of healthy fats and adequate amounts of high-quality protein
  • Healthy cells have the metabolic flexibility to adapt from using glucose to using ketone bodies. Cancer cells lack this metabolic flexibility, so when you eliminate carbs, which are metabolized to glucose, you effectively starve cancer of its primary fuel source.
  • Intermittent fasting, where you gradually restrict the window of time during which you eat food down to about six to eight hours per day aids in the transition from burning carbs to burning fat
  • The ketogenic diet by itself can extend survival in animal models of metastatic cancer, but recent research shows that when it’s combined with hyperbaric oxygen therapy three times per week, there is a significant additive effect.
  • ketosis

Cancer is now so common it affects about one of two of us and most will face it at some point in their lives, either personally or through a friend or relative. Compelling research indicates that the answer to our burgeoning cancer epidemic could be far closer than previously imagined, in the form of a ketogenic diet.

Personally, I believe this is an absolutely crucial facet of cancer prevention and treatment, for whatever type of cancer you’re trying to address, and hopefully, some day it will be adopted as a first line of treatment by mainstream medicine.

A ketogenic diet calls for eliminating all but non-starchy vegetable carbohydrates, and replacing them with high amounts of healthy fats and low to moderate amounts of high-quality protein.

The premise is that since cancer cells need glucose to thrive, and carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, then lowering the glucose level in your blood through carb and protein restriction literally starves the cancer cells to death. Additionally, low protein intake tends to minimize the mTOR pathway that accelerates cell proliferation and lowers the amount of one particular amino acid, glutamine, which is also known to drive certain cancers.

This type of diet is what I recommend for everyone, whether you have cancer or not, because it will help you convert from carb burning mode to fat burning, which will help you optimize your weight and prevent virtually all chronic degenerative disease.

The Ketogenic Diet—An Excellent Approach to Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, PhD is an assistant professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine.

He teaches courses in molecular pharmacology and physiology, and maintains involvement in several studies researching metabolic treatments for neurological disorders such as seizures, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and cancer—all of which are metabolically linked.

His entry in to this field began when, in 2007, the Office of Naval Research funded his study into seizures related to oxygen toxicity experienced by Navy SEAL divers using closed-circuit breathing apparatus. At this juncture, he came across the ketogenic diet, which has already been confirmed as an effective treatment for epilepsy and a variety of seizure disorders.

“I came across the work of Thomas Seyfried,” he says. “I found a large amount of evidence that suggested that cancer was metabolically unique. Genetically, it was very heterogeneous. There are a host of different genetic anomalies in the cancer cells, but one characteristic is that it had this ubiquitous metabolic phenotype, which was aerobic glycolysis.

Even in the presence of oxygen, it was shown that cancer cells continue to pump out lactate, suggesting that they’re fuelling their metabolism from excess glucose consumption.

From my perspective, the only reason cancer cells would be pumping out lactate and deriving energy from glucose at such a high rate would be because they are metabolically compromised with mitochondrial deficiency.”

A mounting body of evidence suggests cancer is responsive to therapeutic ketosis—a natural physiologic state induced during prolonged states of decreased glucose. Nutritional ketosis involves restricting carbohydrates in order to decrease the availability of glucose. Restricting carbs also increases production of ketone bodies from your liver. Nearly all of your normal cells have the flexibility to readily adapt to using ketone bodies for fuel in lieu of glucose, but cancer cells do not have this metabolic flexibility. Hence, they effectively starve to death while all your normal cells actually operate more efficiently than before.

Another Key Component for Cancer Prevention and Treatment: Calorie Restriction

When you restrict carbohydrates, you prevent spikes in blood sugar, insulin and IGF-1 from occurring. These spikes are actually very pro-inflammatory, and can activate oncogenes (genes that contribute to the conversion of a normal cell into a cancerous cell), and enhance both cancer cell proliferation and the metastatic process.

But here’s a key point: While carb restriction will reduce these spikes, it will not have a major impact on baseline levels of blood glucose, unless you also restrict your calorie and protein intake. So for cancer prevention and treatment, carb restriction must be combined with calorie restriction and moderate protein restriction in order to effectively “starve” cancer cells of their preferred fuel (glucose and glutamine).

“The ketogenic diet is, I think, a very good strategy to make calorie restriction tolerable,” Dr. D’Agostino says. “Because when your brain in particular is craving glucose, and, say, for example, you go on a calorie-restricted diet, but it’s a high-carbohydrate diet, you’re still getting fluctuations in blood glucose. Your brain goes through these intermittent periods of glucose deprivation and you get very hungry. It’s not a very comfortable feeling.

Nutritional ketosis, which occurs with carbohydrate restriction and is further enhanced with calorie restriction, forces the physiological shift from a glucose-based metabolism to a fatty acid and ketone metabolism. When your body is, shall we say, keto-adapted, your brain energy metabolism is more stable and your mood is more stable. It may take a few weeks to adapt physiologically to this. But nutritional ketosis can be maintained and sustained with carbohydrate restriction and is further enhanced with calorie restriction.

The total calories really need to be restricted, and also protein. Protein is gluconeogenic. There are gluconeogenic amino acids in protein. If protein is at, say, for example, two or three grams per kilogram per day that is probably going to feed in through the gluconeogenic pathway and contribute to glutaminolysis. It will be hard to deplete your glycogen stores, which is necessary to drive the ketogenesis in your liver.”

How Much Protein Is Advisable?

So to summarize, in order to maintain and sustain nutritional ketosis, you need to decrease both carbohydrates and protein. But how much protein is enough, or too much?

As Dr. D’Agostino mentions above, eating two to three grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight—which translates to 100-300 grams of protein per day for some people—is an enormous overload. Many bodybuilders will consume this much though, and many non-athletes as well. The bodybuilding industry has fostered the idea that you need tons of protein to build muscle, but as Dr. D’Agostino explains, if you restrict protein, and replace both the lost protein and carbs with healthful fats, the elevation in your blood ketones will have a protein-sparing, or anti-catabolic, effect.

“It will help you preserve lean body mass and a physical performance during a calorie deficit. This is why the ketogenic diet is an effective strategy for losing weight and retaining muscle, especially if it’s complemented with resistance exercise or some kind of physical activity,” he says.

Your end goal needs to be taken into consideration here though. A bodybuilder’s purpose for embarking on a ketogenic diet will be different from someone with cancer or a seizure disorder. In the latter case, you’d need to be far more strict with reducing protein in order to achieve and maintain ketosis.

Personally, I’m intrigued with the concept promoted by one of my mentors, Dr. Ron Rosedale, who advocates restricting protein to one gram per kilogram of lean body mass. Typically, for someone like myself, that amounts to about 50-70 grams of protein per day. The reason he promotes this so much is because of the stimulatory effect protein (branch-chained amino acids specifically) has on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)—a pathway that seems to be largely responsible for the pathology seen in cancer growth.

When you reduce protein to just what your body needs, mTOR remains inhibited, which helps lessen your chances of cancer growth.

“I agree that mTOR is an important signal once you have cancer,” Dr. D’Agostino says. “The amino acid leucine is a powerful activator of the mTOR pathway, and stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Now, if a normal healthy person consumes boluses of leucine [a branch-chained amino acid], say five grams a couple of times a day, which a lot of bodybuilders and athletes do, can this enhance cancer growth?

This is an interesting question, and one that I’ve been researching. We’re about to set up a study where we give large doses of branch-chained amino acids in a metastatic model of cancer. My opinion is that branch-chained amino acids, which activate mTOR, in a normal healthy person are not counterproductive. They do not increase one’s susceptibility to cancer and may even prevent muscle wasting (e.g. cachexia) associated with cancer.”

The ‘Meat’ of the Ketogenic Diet—FATS

Most people who follow a ketogenic diet inadvertently restrict their calories without actually reaping the metabolic benefits of a calorie deficit, which include reductions in blood glucose, insulin, and triglycerides. The reason for this is that they don’t replace the carbs (and protein) they’ve eliminated with high enough amounts of healthy fats.

“Paradoxically, when you’re eating more fat, your blood fats will go down, due to a calorie deficit, and HDL [so-called ‘good’ cholesterol] goes up. Almost everyone that I see on these high-fat ketogenic diets has improved HDL levels,” Dr. D’Agostino says.

Now, when we say increase the fat, we’re not talking about the most common fat that people eat, which are primarily highly processed vegetable oils that are full of omega-6 fats, or trans fats found in French fries and doughnuts. We’re talking about high-quality fats like avocados, butter, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, and olives. These types of fats, which Dr. Rosedale believes are metabolically neutral because they don’t tend to trigger hormonal signaling events like leptin, insulin, and the mTOR pathway.

“I think a lot of the fats can be used in place of protein. And fats are very protein sparing, decreasing your need for protein,” Dr. D’Agostino says.

Bear in mind that while a traditional ketogenic diet calls for quite a bit of dairy products, dairy can actually be problematic and may prevent many of the health benefits that you can get from the ketogenic diet described by D’Agostino and Seyfried. Lactoseis a sugar made from galactose and glucose that is found in milk, making up anywhere from two to eight percent of milk by weight. These extra sugars can be problematic when seeking to lose weight or treat cancer, even if from raw organic sources. Dairy fat is acceptable (e.g. sour cream, butter, etc.), but foods high in dairy protein or lactose should be minimized or avoided.

Why You’d Want to Become a Fat-Burner

Your body can burn two types of fuel: fat and carbs. In my estimation, I suspect about 99 percent of Americans are adapted to burning carbs as their primary fuel. It’s important to realize that when your body is adapted to burning carbs, you’re quite inflexible, metabolically speaking. Without fail, your body will be screaming for food about every two to three hours. These kinds of hunger pangs vanish once you become fat adapted, however. Then you can go all day and not be hungry, because you have far more fat in your body to burn than glucose.

So how do you achieve this metabolic switch-over?

In my experience, intermittent fasting, where you gradually restrict the window of time during which you eat food down to about six to eight hours, is one of the most effective ways to make this transition.

“I think from a practical standpoint, the important question is what’s a person going to follow? From my perspective, the biggest hurdle here is compliance; compliance to a dietary strategy that makes calorie restriction feasible and possible. And you know, carbohydrate restriction, high-fat diet, and intermittent fasting is one way to achieve that,” Dr. D’Agostino says.

“There are a lot of advantages to this pattern of intermittent fasting. I think that it is a good strategy to promote metabolic health and to maintain nutritional ketosis, if you can adapt to it. In some lifestyles, people cannot readily adapt to it. But I’ve found that most people can if they give it a try for at least several weeks. Most people are resistant. Even with people that are resistant- once they try it, they’re amazed at how much better they feel.”

It’s not an ideal course for everyone, however. As a general rule, intermittent fasting is contraindicated if you’re:

  • An elite athlete
  • Pregnant
  • Suffer with adrenal stress
  • Already at a low BMI (< 19)

Hyperbaric Treatment Works Synergistically with Ketogenic Diet Against Cancer

Dr. D’Agostino recently published a paper in the journal PLoS One, titled “The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer1.” Most people who die of cancer die from the metastatic process, rather than from the tumor itself. There’s really no treatment or cure for metastatic cancer. Dr. D’Agostino’s team has demonstrated that the ketogenic diet by itself can extend survival in animal models of metastatic cancer, but when it’s combined with hyperbaric oxygen therapy three times per week, there is an additive effect2.

“You get a significant reduction in tumor growth, decrease in tumor size, and significant extension of life when the therapeutic ketosis achieved through the ketogenic diet is combined with hyperbaric oxygen,” he says.

“Tumors thrive in a low-oxygen environment. As a tumor grows, it exceeds its ability to supply oxygen to the center of the tumor. That low level of oxygen, called hypoxia, further activates the oncogenes; cancer promoting genes. It activates things like HIF-1-alpha and VEGF. IGF-1 signaling goes up. Hyperbaric oxygen can reverse tumor hypoxia intermittently. In doing that, it can actually turn off the oncogenes. There are published reports on this.

… [T]he tumor thrives in a low-oxygen environment, and it’s adapted to that low-oxygen environment. When you saturate a tumor with oxygen, because the mitochondria are damaged, it overproduces oxygen free radicals in the form of superoxide anion. This oxygen-induced increase in free radicals can actually cause the tumor to kill itself.”

How to Determine if You’re in Ketosis

To help you determine if you’re in ketosis, you can purchase a blood ketone and glucose meter, both of which are available in most drug stores. Amazon.com also sells them. Dr. D’Agostino recommends the Precision Xtra by Abbott Labs. Their ketone test strips are called Precision Xtra. Glucose meter strips typically sell for about 50 cents per strip, while ketone strips can range from $3-6 each.

 “Another option is the CardioChek meter. This is an interesting meter, because it can measure glucose, ketones, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and a number of things.”

By testing your glucose and ketones, you can monitor your response to a nutritional intervention, and then adjust your calories and the macronutrient ratios to optimize your body to be in what Dr. D’Agostino calls the “metabolic zone.” The metabolic zone is defined as sustained hypoglycemia (55-75 mg/dl) with elevated blood ketones (>2 mM).

“If you can produce sustained hypoglycemia with carbohydrate and calorie restriction and simultaneously elevate blood ketones, it actually makes the hypoglycemia tolerable,” he explains. “The ketones replace the glucose as the primary energy fuel for your brain. It basically keeps your brain metabolism optimized and prevents fluctuations in your mood and your energy levels, if you can sustain therapeutic ketosis with a properly balanced ketogenic diet.”

As you implement the ketogenic diet, you can just check your glucose and ketones once a week if you find the cost of the strips to be prohibitively expensive for more frequent testing. Typically, if your blood glucose stays at 75 or below with carbohydrate restriction, there’s a good chance that you’ll be in nutritional ketosis, which is where you want to be.

If you’re in ketosis by evidence of ketones in your urine, you’re in a situation where you likely have depleted glycogen stores in your liver. This means you’re maintaining a low blood glucose, which is good. The driver for hepatic ketogenesis is low blood glucose and low glycogen levels in the liver, as this means your body is depleted of glycogen. Your body will not really make adequate ketones (>2 mM), and they won’t spill over in your urine, unless you’ve achieved that level of glycogen depletion. So remember, when your levels of blood ketones are 1-3 millimolar (mM) that’s a good biomarker of nutritional ketosis.

More Information

While Dr. D’Agostino does not treat patients, he has plenty of resources to offer for anyone interested in learning more. If you have cancer, you could bring these resources to your oncologist for discussion. For everyone else, a ketogenic diet is an excellent way to optimize your health and prevent chronic diseases of all kinds. Helpful books and websites where you can learn more include:

  • KetogenicDietResource.com3. This site is maintained by a friend of Dr. D’Agostino. Here you can also find a ketogenic diet handbook for cancer patients called Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet
  • Dr. D’Agostino’s website KetoNutrition.org4 contains a wide variety of therapy resources for patients
  • Miriam Kalamian, EdM, MS, CNS offers ketogenic diet consulting services for cancer patients. For information, see dietarytherapies.com5
  • The book, Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer, by Thomas Seyfried
  • The book, The Cantin Ketogenic Diet: For Cancer, Type I Diabetes & Other Ailments, by Elaine Cantin, which specifically outlines a dairy-free ketogenic diet

Last but not least, ketoresearchchem.com6 is a resource for scientists interested in ketone research. Please note that the ketone supplements offered there are strictly for research only, and are NOT available for sale to cancer patients.

The Ketogenic Diet for Optimal Health and Disease Prevention

I firmly believe the ketogenic diet can be a tremendously beneficial strategy for optimizing your health and disease prevention and treatment plan, including cancer. It’s already a well-established first line of treatment against many seizure disorders. While most of your body’s cells have the metabolic flexibility to use either fat or sugar for fuel, cancer cells differ in that they cannot use fat (ketones) to survive—they need glucose, and a low-oxygen environment.

Back in the 1930’s, Dr. Otto Warburg actually received a Nobel Prize for his discovery that sugar is the primary fuel substrate for cancer cells. The “Warburg effect” in cancer cells is the basis of positron emission tomography (18-FDG PET), a medical imaging technique to visualize cancer. Oncologists have ignored this vital information for over 80 years and don’t use it therapeutically, which in my view is just reprehensible malpractice… So many people suffer needlessly because they don’t have access to this simple nutritional therapeutic strategy, which, in a nutshell, takes advantage of this intrinsic metabolic differential between healthy and cancerous cells.

Your body has a limited storage of sugar, stored in the form of glycogen, typically in your muscles and liver. These glycogen stores are depleted in about 12 hours or so, at which point your body has to switch to burning fat. This is part of what makes intermittent fasting so beneficial, because by not eating for 12-18 hours or longer each day, your body shifts into this fat-burning mode. While frequent hunger is a major issue for most people who are reliant on burning carbs for energy, fat-burners can go all day, or a number of days if necessary, without food, since most of us have plenty of fat to be used for fuel.

While most people can still eat some carbs, along with moderate amounts of high-quality protein, those with cancer need to be far more strict. Cancer patients also need to combine a ketogenic diet with calorie restriction to achieve glucose depletion that will effectively starve the cancer cells. Recent research also shows that adding hyperbaric oxygen treatment will dramatically reduce cancer growth and shrink tumors. All in all, I can find no drawbacks to eating this way, which is why I highly recommend it for everyone.

Source: mercola.com